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Storing Apples at Home

October 15, 2012

There are so many people around the country offering great advice for us on how to enjoy healthy food.  Lucy Boggs of Boulder, Colorado posted information about how to keep apples through the year. You might find them useful. Click on any and all of the links she provides to read more advice for other fresh produce storage.

On the other hand, Fuhrman Orchards already has several storage rooms where their fresh apples are kept crisp for a long time….and Fuhrman delivers to The Wild Ramp where you can buy apples conveniently!

But for those of you who have your own tree, enjoy Lucy’s advice:

First, some general guidelines for storing produce over the winter:

  • Only store fruits and vegetables in perfect condition; any cut, bruised, crushed or decaying produce is likely to infect the rest of the batch and cost you a lot of your crop.
  • Store produce as close to the time it was harvested as possible, and as close to the state they were in when they were harvested—tops still on, dirt still attached.
  • Cool produce completely before storing.
  • Do not store apples with potatoes or carrots because apples give off ethylene gas which can cause potatoes to sprout and carrots to taste bitter.
  • Make sure to store produce with plenty of ventilation.  You can put layers of newspaper, straw, sawdust or peat moss between the layers of produce to help keep each piece separated and well ventilated.
  • Keep a bucket of water wherever you store your crops; water will freeze before your veggies, and if you notice that the water is frozen, you can take steps to make sure your food doesn’t freeze as well.
  • Check out this document for tips on storing specific kinds of produce—everything from apples to tomatoes!

Here are 5 tips for storing produce over the winter that you can customize to your own living situation (and level of commitment!):

  1. If you’re blessed with a basement that stays between 50 and 60 degrees in the winter, you can still use it the old-fashioned way for shorter-term storage of veggies like pumpkins and winter squash, and maybe even apples.
  2. An old refrigerator can also be used to store winter fruits and veggies; make sure it is COMPLETELY dry and set it to around 40 degrees.
  3. I personally had decent luck with storing my apples in my garage; I live in Colorado, and my garage stays pretty cold in the winter, but generally does not freeze because it is enclosed and attached to the house. This article details how to store carrots and potatoes in a garage or similar space—like a storage closet out on a balcony.
  4. If you have a yard, you can literally dig a hole in the ground and store your veggies that way—try one of these methods of burying a bucket, a trash can, or another container to create a mini root cellar.
  5. This article from Organic Gardening shows how to store your veggies in the ground all winter.


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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 15, 2012 7:18 pm

    Wonderfully informative as usual!

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